The Bombay High Court on Thursday said a responsible civic officer should be present in court on Friday for the hearing of a case related to suspension of a BMC engineer and non-payment of salary to him after he resumed duty in March 2010.
The BMC advocate, Komal Punjabi, offered little explanation on the salary issue on Thursday. She said she did not have instructions due to the involvement of more than one department in the matter. Even civic officials present in court were unable to give proper information.
The bench said that if they were not satisfied with the explanation offered by the officer who appears on Friday, the officer would have to pay 12.5% interest from his/her salary.
Justice Majmudar said: “If it’s more than one officer, they will collectively have to pay out of their pockets. We will not put any burden on the exchequer. Why should the citizens suffer?”
Tripathi has said in his petition that he joined the BMC in 1976 as junior engineer. In May 2005, he was on deputation with the Slum Rehabilitation Authority as sub-engineer.
He was transferred back to the BMC in July 2008, but as he was in Allahabad due to his sister’s illness, he could not comply with the order. The corporation issued him a memo on August 5, 2008, stating that despite his transfer from SRA, he had not reported for work. He said he immediately returned to Mumbai and learnt that a proposal to extend his deputation with the SRA was under consideration.
He was suspended on November 2008. On March 20, 2010, the suspension was revoked subject to a departmental inquiry. Tripathi gets a salary slip that does not mention the amount but only states that “since his continuation of service is not decided, he is not entitled to receive salary.”
Mayor Shraddha Jadhav said, “The civic administration should clear pending enquiries as early as possible as the BMC has to give the employees salary for the suspension period later. Also, there should be fixed period for completing an enquiry,” she said. (Inputs by Sujit Mahamulkar)